42 arrested in weekend protests over Atlanta police shooting

An arsonist set fire to the Atlanta Wendy's where Rayshard Brooks, a 27-year-old Black man, was shot and killed by Atlanta police Friday evening.

Credit: Steve Schaefer

Credit: Steve Schaefer

An additional six demonstrators were arrested Sunday as unrest continues in Atlanta following the police killing of Rayshard Brooks.

They were added to the three dozen arrested Saturday evening when a flood of protesters overtook the Downtown Connector and blocked traffic, police said.

During the massive demonstration, which opened the third straight weekend of protests in Atlanta, the Wendy's restaurant on University Avenue where Brooks was shot Friday night was set on fire.

Police were sent to the Wendy’s after Brooks, a 27-year-old black man, reportedly fell asleep in his car and blocked the restaurant’s drive-thru. A struggle broke out when officers attempted to arrest the man.

MORE: City reacts to police shooting of Rayshard Brooks

Video posted on social media showed Brooks on the ground wrestling with two white Atlanta police officers in the parking lot. Officers attempted to use a stun gun on Brooks, who was able to wrestle the weapon away and run away, with officers in pursuit. Shots are heard but not seen in the video.

Body and dash camera footage of the incident has since been released by police.

RELATED: Body cam footage of Rayshard Brooks' death shows calm, then chaos

Officer Garret Rolfe, who officials said fired the shots that killed Brooks, was terminated from the department. The second officer involved, Officer Devin Brosnan, has been placed on administrative duty, officials said.

Renault Verona (left) and other area residents came on their own to help clean up Sunday after a fire gutted the Wendy’s where Rayshard Brooks was shot.

Credit: Steve Schaefer

Credit: Steve Schaefer

Brooks’ death comes as people across the country are protesting the death of George Floyd, who died while in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Floyd’s death sparked new outrage over the treatment of black people by law enforcement and led to the first round of demonstrations in Atlanta.

The Wendy’s restaurant that was the site of the Brooks’ death was left burning Saturday after someone broke windows and tossed fireworks inside. Atlanta fire spokesman Sgt. Cortez Stafford said the blaze grew because it wasn’t safe to get to the area near the restaurant when the fire began.

Crews contained the flames, but could not go inside the building to thoroughly extinguish all hot spots. The few flames that popped up “did not pose a threat to the already burned structure,” Stafford said.

Protesters returned to the site Sunday.

MORE: Civil rights groups call for reforms after latest police shooting

The furor mirrored a May 29 protest that began peacefully but devolved into chaos,  leaving behind a slew of fires, damaged business and a vandalized CNN Center.

RELATED: Protest turns into hours of chaos, violence in Atlanta

Of the 36 people arrested Saturday, 15 had Atlanta addresses, according to department spokesman Officer Steve Avery. Seventeen were from the state of Georgia outside of the city, and four were from out of state, he said.

No details have been released regarding those arrested Sunday.

— AJC staff writer Chelsea Prince contributed to this article.

In other news: 

Channel 2's Matt Johnson was live on the scene as protesters smashed windows of a gas station in southwest Atlanta.

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